Microfluidization for cassava starch modification

(Nanowerk News) Researchers at National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) in Thailand have discovered that using microfluidization has an effect on the structure and thermal properties of cassava starch-water suspension (20% w/w).
"This is the first time that anyone has ever used microfluidization for cassava starch modification" said Dr. Kittiwut Kasemwong, researcher at NANOTEC Nano-Delivery Lab. "After using the microfluidization treatment, we noticed bigger starch granule was partially gelatinized, and a gel-like structure was formed on a granular surface. Our investigation indicates that high- pressure microfluidization process induce the gelatinization process which is crucial for granule swelling and water access".
Dr. Kittiwut Kasemwong
Dr. Kittiwut Kasemwong
This discovery has many application potentials in the food and drug industry. According to the Thai Board of Investment (BOI), the Thai food industry generates about $15 billion dollars annually and comprises about 30% of GDP. As for the drug industry, it is estimated that by 2016 Thailand will have the seventh largest pharmaceutical market in the Asia Pacific region.
Collaborators on this investigation included researchers from Srinakharinwirot University and Kasetsart University. The researchers reported their investigation in a paper published in Starch ("Effect of high-pressure microfluidization on the structure of cassava starch granule").